Data privacy Definitions

  • A

    Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher chosen by the U.S. government to protect classified information and is implemented in software and hardware throughout the world to encrypt sensitive data.

  • Automated Clearing House (ACH)

    Automated Clearing House (ACH) is a secure payment transfer system that connects all U.S. financial institutions.

  • C

    checksum

    A checksum is a value that represents the number of bits in a transmission message and is used by IT professionals to detect high-level errors within data transmissions.

  • cypherpunk

    Cypherpunk, a term that appeared in Eric Hughes' "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto" in 1993, combines the ideas of cyberpunk, the spirit of individualism in cyberspace, with the use of strong encryption (ciphertext is encrypted text) to preserve privacy.

  • D

    Data Encryption Standard (DES)

    The Data Encryption Standard (DES) is an outdated symmetric-key method of data encryption.

  • F

    FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974)

    FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) is legislation that protects the privacy of students' personally identifiable information (PII). The act applies to all educational institutions that receive federal funds.

  • I

    Information Awareness Office (IAO)

    Created in response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) is a branch of the United States Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) that aims to gather massive amounts of intelligence through electronic sources in order to help avert terrorist acts in the future.

  • information signature

    To fight terrorism, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is planning to develop a system that uses a super database of recorded online transactions and analytical programming that will identify what is referred to as the information signature of a terrorist or terrorist activity before harm can be done.

  • J

    journaling file system

    A journaling file system is a fault-resilient file system in which data integrity is ensured because updates to directories and bitmaps are constantly written to a serial log on disk before the original disk log is updated.

  • K

    Kermit

    Kermit is a popular file transfer and management protocol and suite of communications software programs with advantages over existing Internet protocols such as File Transfer Protocol and Telnet.

  • M

    MD2

    MD2 is an earlier, 8-bit version of MD5, an algorithm used to verify data integrity through the creation of a 128-bit message digest from data input (which may be a message of any length) that is claimed to be as unique to that specific data as a fingerprint is to the specific individual.

  • MD4

    MD4 is an earlier version of MD5, an algorithm used to verify data integrity through the creation of a 128-bit message digest from data input (which may be a message of any length) that is claimed to be as unique to that specific data as a fingerprint is to the specific individual.

  • MD5

    The MD5 hashing algorithm is a one-way cryptographic function that accepts a message of any length as input and returns as output a fixed-length digest value to be used for authenticating the original message.

  • MICR (magnetic ink character recognition)

    MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) is a technology used to verify the legitimacy or originality of paper documents, especially checks.

  • P

    P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences)

    P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences) is a protocol that specifies a way to determine if a Web site's security policies meet a user's privacy requirements.

  • payload (computing)

    In computing, a payload is the carrying capacity of a packet or other transmission data unit. The term has its roots in the military and is often associated with the capacity of executable malicious code  to do damage. Technically, the payload of a specific packet or other protocol data unit (PDU) is the actual transmitted data sent by communicating endpoints.

  • S

    snooping

    Snooping, in a security context, is unauthorized access to another person's or company's data. The practice is similar to eavesdropping but is not necessarily limited to gaining access to data during its transmission. Snooping can include casual observance of an e-mail that appears on another's computer screen or watching what someone else is typing. More sophisticated snooping uses software programs to remotely monitor activity on a computer or network device.

  • strong cryptography

    Strong cryptography is used by most governments around the world to protect communications. It involves secreted and encrypted communication that is not amenable to cryptographic analysis.

  • T

    Total Information Awareness (TIA)

    Total Information Awareness (TIA) is the name of a massive U.S. data mining project focused on scanning travel, financial and other data from public and private sources with the goal of detecting and preventing transnational threats to national security.

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